Ever since India abrogated Article 370, the friction with Pakistan has touched a new high. The never cordial, not even civil to each other, neighbors have engaged in a war of words over the Kashmir issue. While India has maintained it's an internal matter, Pakistan has left no stone unturned to internationalize the Kashmir issue.
In a recent interview, advisor on national security and strategic policy planning to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that India sends a message to Pakistan expressing a desire for talks. "We have got a message for a desire for conversation," says Moeed Yusuf in the exclusive interview to The Wire.
Yusuf further says India expressed a desire for talks even as Pakistan set conditions like Kashmiris be made a third party at these proposed talks, and India agrees on a rollback of constitutional changes made in Jammu & Kashmir.
In the heated, lengthy interview touching upon several points of contention between the two nations, Yusuf says, "I sit here on the instructions of my Prime Minister to talk to you about the future, to talk to you how we can move forward, how to get over our problems and not to litigate the past."
On Article 370
When asked why is Pakistan so worked up by the internal constitutional changes in Jammu & Kashmir, Yusuf says that the only thing matters are the wishes of the people and that it wasn't an "internal matter of India but a matter of the UN."
He adds, "There was never a doubt about what Kashmiris want. No Kashmiri sees himself or herself as an Indian. Kashmiris can't bear the thought of being Indian. If that's the reality, what internal arrangement are you talking about?" What India has done with Jammu & Kashmir, isn't precisely what Islamabad has done with Gilgit Baltistan? To which Yusuf says, "People of Gilgit Baltistan want to be fully integrated into Pakistan."
On Kulbhushan Jadhav
The issue of Kubhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on the charges of espionage, reached a dead end. With Yusuf contending that there was evidence connecting Jadhav to subversive activities. About Jadhav being represented by an Indian lawyer or a British QC, Yusuf said there is no law in Pakistan that allows an Indian lawyer to argue a case in a Pakistani court. He also outright denied that Pakistan did not allow India to have unimpeded and unconditional consular access to Jadhav.
In the interview, Yusuf goes so far as to, in fact, accuse India of inflicting terror on Pakistan. Talking about terror and the Mumbai attacks of 2008, Yusuf also accused India of deliberately delaying sending witnesses and evidence just to keep the issue alive and project Pakistan in a bad light in front of the world.
Looking at things from where they are at the moment it's tough to imagine that India Pakistan nearly agreed on Siachen as many as three times because literally, the baggage is far too much for both the nations, the conflicts way too many and issues way too complex. This copy will be updated as soon as Indian military and officials give out a statement on the interview.
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